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Vandals deface Afghanistan memorial

By Steph Crosier

It only took vandals four days to descend upon the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial in Trenton.

Quinte West City surveillance cameras caught a man pulling the memorial’s plants out and throwing them on the ground just after midnight Wednesday morning.

Hundreds of people, dignitaries, and families of the 158 fallen soldiers came to Bain Park Saturday to witness the presentation of the monument. Built in Hamilton, it features the names of Canadian soldiers who fell in Afghanistan, etched in granite.

Quinte West OPP Constable Dave Snider said police were called to the scene at around 8:30 a.m.  is investigating the scene and is disappointed it has happened to the new monument.

“It’s unfortunate that this should happen at all, let alone so quick after the dedication,” said Snider.

There was no other damage and Quinte West city employees have since returned the plants to their proper home.

Mayor John Williams of Quinte West said he’s disgusted and swears revenge.

“We have cameras on this, so if you do this stuff you’re going to get caught. If you get caught, we’re going to make an example out of you, let me tell you,” said Williams.

Williams said that he isn’t considering putting up fencing to protect the memorial.

“Its not about fencing its about showing respect for what’s there,” said Williams. “It just shows… you know unbelievable to see what someone would do in the first place.”

The vandal is described at 5 foot 8 to 5 foot 10 with a slim build. He was wearing light coloured jeans, light coloured bomber jacket with hood, a dark ball hat, and work boots.

“We’ll continue to investigate and to hear from the public,” said Snider. “Hopefully we get a lead on a name, the individual, and we will deal with the situation at that point.”

Police are asking anyone with information to call the Quinte West OPP detachment or Crime Stoppers.

“The main message is that people need to realize that we aren’t putting up with this sort of action,” said Williams.